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Malayan Operations (Publicity)

Volume 478: debated on Monday 18 September 1950

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asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will arrange for the Services Press and Propaganda Department to give full and graphic accounts of the work of the British Army in Malaya to the Press of this country in view of the fact that many pictures have already appeared in the United States Press and in news-reels in the United States of America and in this country which show the United States Army and the United States Air Force in action in Korea.

Press correspondents in Malaya are given every facility and encouragement by the local authorities to obtain information about the progress of military and police operations and it is not considered that the institution of any special machinery is necessary.

asked the Secretary of State for War for what reasons British units which have taken part in successful actions in Malaya are not allowed to be referred to by name in the newspapers or in other ways; why this policy is different to that which applies to the fighting in Korea; and whether he is aware that British and other troops fighting in Malaya, knowing that everybody in the area in which they operate is aware of their identity, would welcome a change of policy.

Permission to publish particulars of the units engaged is given as soon as it is certain that the information will not assist the bandits or compromise the operations.